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At the Cathedral: Pope’s decision praised as ‘act of humility’

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“A beautiful Christ-like act of humility and love,” is how Archbishop José Gomez described the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI as he began his homily during the Feb. 11 noon Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. “This is an act of a saint, who thinks not about himself, but only about the will of God and the good of God’s people,” said the archbishop after reminding the assembly that the announcement came on the Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, patroness of the sick. He also offered a brief explanation of Vatican proceedings to choose the pope’s successor.“In my opinion he is one of the wisest persons in the world today,” continued Archbishop Gomez. “Every day I try to learn from his words and example. He is an example of a true disciple of Jesus Christ.”Adding that he would “always be grateful” to the pope for naming him archbishop twice (in San Antonio and, in 2010 Los Angeles), he urged the assembly to pray for the pope’s health and for the universal church in this “time of transition.”He reminded the nearly 400 people gathered in the Cathedral that “God has a plan of love for the Church and for each one of us. God is still in charge of the world. He is still building his Kingdom, his family on Earth, and through Jesus Christ and through his Church he brings salvation and healing.”Citing the Gospel, Archbishop Gomez reiterated that at “this time of great transition,” all Catholics “should commit” to the mission of the Church, a “mission of love,” he declared.“We are called to be a force of human dignity, healing and justice; we are called to make this city a city of truth and love,” he remarked. He encouraged the assembly to continue praying for “anyone hurt by members of the Church,” and referred to Ash Wednesday as a time “to live a holier, simpler life with faith and compassion; deciding to become more like Jesus Christ.”He asked the assembly to entrust the life of Pope Benedict to the Blessed Mother, “That he may continue to have joy and peace and many more years of prayer and reflection.”Servant of Immaculate Child Mary Sisters Maria Carlos and Enedina Cuevas, whose ministry is parochial assistance, concurred that “this is a time of prayer.”“It is a time of faith and hope,” said Sister Carlos. “It is a time to renew our faith knowing that God has a wonderful plan for all of us. As religious women we are constantly praying for our church leaders.”“This is a time of reconciliation,” added Sister Cuevas, “and this is a day to be in community.”Cathedral parishioner Salud Mangahis said the resignation truly surprised her because “I think he [the pope] is a very intelligent and well-able person to deal with all the rampant secularism going on in the United States and the rest of the world.”“It is time for adoration,” she added, saying that hopefully the next pope’s personality and experience will carry a “balance of faith and reason.”“It takes a lot of humility to step down from that position,” she said.Tony Tolosa, a frequent assistant at the noon Mass, was concerned by the resignation.“It will take some time to choose a new pope. Pope Benedict has been very good,” he reflected, adding he is praying and hoping the resignation “doesn’t go through, but it seems it will happen.”Deanne Caldarelli welcomed the pope’s decision in view of his personal health. “Instead of suffering as Pope John Paul did, it is better for him to retire,” she said. “He can always continue deepening in his faith without being any hindrance to us. He needs to rest.”{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0215/resignmassgomez/{/gallery}

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